Police crack down unfairly on minor violations

I do not believe that I stand alone when I say that the Appleton Police Department is a thorn in the side of many Lawrence students. The police in this town are not here to “serve and protect,” they are here to harass and annoy. Their only function is to squeeze money out of good citizens, part of their pathetic agenda of getting more income for their already gigantic doughnut fund. I am tired of sending away parking ticket contest forms. I am tired of having to go 4 miles under the speed limit just to be sure I will be left alone. In short, I am tired of the continual harassment.Once, I received a $10 ticket for parking overnight in the Younkers garage. I found a sign at the front entrance that explains the rule (no parking between 2 and 5 am without permit), but the back entrance has no such indication. Another time, I got a $5 ticket for parking in a 2-hour zone for 2 hours, 13 min. These are just two of my many encounters. I’ve heard countless other stories from other students as well.

One might ask, where does this ticket money go? Although I am oversimplifying the matter, the money actually goes to hire more police officers. Take a drive (try not to get a ticket) around Appleton at night. The overabundance of police cars is amazing. This overabundance provides plenty of opportunity for them to give tickets, which then creates ample funds to hire more cops.

I think it is very interesting that the police are there in a heartbeat if your meter has expired by 2 minutes, or if you are going slightly over the speed limit, or you are slightly too close to a curb. But where are the officers when they are legitimately needed? When my bike was stolen, they sent me a “stolen property form.” I bet it will do a lot of good! When there is money to make, police are there in a hurry. When there is work that does not pay, no cop is in sight.

At this point, I would rather live in Singapore. A legitimate caning would be much better than the unprovoked financial assault I am struggling with here. The good news is that some of the tickets I have received were voided after contesting. I strongly encourage Lawrence students to fight this harassment at every opportunity. I know I don’t want my money going for more Chief Wiggums and more jelly doughnuts.

—David Heyer

Top